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How The System Works - By William O. Tower, President

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  • Connecticut DCF Watch
    HOW THE SYSTEM WORKS By William O. Tower, President American Family Rights Association First thing to remember is through out this entire process you only have
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 7, 2006
      By William O. Tower, President
      American Family Rights Association

      First thing to remember is through out this entire process you only have
      (3) three times to have a TRIAL, AND ONLY THREE.
      Another thing to remember is that if the child is 3 or under they can
      move for TPR in 6 months.

      1. Detention hearing (72 hours after the taking of children)
      2. Jurisdiction hearing (30days after the taking of children)
      3. Termination of Parental Rights hearing. (15 months after the taking
      of children or if the child is 3 or under 6 months to TPR.)

      1. First one is after they take children you have the detention hearing
      that is usually within 72 judicial hours. That is why children are
      normally taken on a Thursday or Friday giving the Dept till Tuesday to
      hold the first hearing. This gives them more time to put their case
      together and more time to work on the children. Don't waste time, you
      need to get a good attorney or someone that will help explain how this
      all works. If you go with the court appointed attorney tell him if you
      are innocent and demand a trial at this hearing. Usually the court
      appointed attorney will meet with you 5-10 minutes before court and
      tell you "just agree with this one and we will catch up with it at the
      next hearing in 30 days and that will give us time to prepare a defense,
      (DO NOT believe this) Demand a trial at this hearing. You are entitled
      to have a trial at this time. They will tell you that" if you fight this
      hearing, that all the dept has put on paper to the court will become
      legal fact," don't fall for this one, it is all ready fact as far as the
      court is concerned. So fight it with all you have. [note] This is where
      you have the best chance of beating them as they are not ready for a
      trial and they don't have a case yet, (not enough time to put it
      together). Best time to push and win the children back. This is the only
      time you will get to dispute what they have done on paper for this
      hearing. If you don't fight, it will become (resjudicarta) all ready
      dealt with and you can not bring it up again. It has been made legal
      fact. "Done deal". So demand a trial. (Did I day that before?) If you
      agree to this hearing they will beat you to death with it and say that
      you admitted guilt and now need to get with the case plan.

      1. Do not agree to a deal. (unless you are guilty of what they are saying)
      2. Do not let your attorney stipulate to the court on your behalf. (MAKE
      3. Do not state to the court that you understand what is happening, make
      them spell it out. You will not look stupid for doing this as most
      attorneys don't understand it all no matter what they say.
      4. If your attorney does not defend you, ask for a new one that will.
      5. If they hold your children (as they usually do) make sure visitation
      is ordered by the court and have the court spell it out, do not let the
      court leave it up to the caseworker. They will not let you see your
      children as they still need to work on them to get what they want.
      6. Make sure that your Attorney does not allow the court and or the dept
      run the dispositional and jurisdictional hearings together make them
      separate them. No good can come of running them together as the facts
      will get run together in the court and they won't be able to separate
      them legally themselves.

      2. Second hearing is called the "Jurisdiction Hearing" This is the
      second time you are entitled to a trial. If you are innocent use this as
      the second "bite at the apple" time to get your story heard. It is
      extremely important to do this at this Trial, (notice I use the word
      Trial) Fight this one hard and win. Make the attorney work and do what
      is right. They will tell you that: you don't have a chance look at what
      is in the paperwork, the only thing to do is cut a deal, they will also
      tell you that what the dept is offering is a great deal, Don't believe
      it. Now is the time to fight or settle in for the long haul. You choose
      which you want to do. You need to win this one.

      If you win, the children come home, case closed. Do not do anything to
      pop up on their radar screen. (stay away from them) I.e.: Do Not sign up
      for welfare benefits, Medicaid, food stamps, or any other services they
      offer. Stay away from them and their services. Also watch out for
      mandated reporters. I.e. Doctors, schools, ETC.

      If you lose the jurisdiction trial, you have nothing to do but comply
      with the case plan. "You are in the system" settle in for the long haul
      as now you get a "Review" every six (6) months. Do what the case plan
      says as soon as possible and then ask the worker for more. Comply,
      Comply, Comply, always remember it is about the children. The fight here
      is get the children back forget about any federal suit at this time,
      work on getting the children back. That is the mission here. If they ask
      you to do a parenting class, do three or four, if they send you to
      therapy, talk about how this is affecting your children, not you. This
      is not about you. Remember this it is not about you. It all about your

      If at the 6 month hearing you do not get your children back, start the
      case plan over and do more things and services. The one's you did before
      the 6 month review have been used and now you need to start again.
      Comply, Comply, And Comply.

      3. Now we are down to the (TPR) Termination of Parental Rights. By this
      time your children have been in the system for 15-16 months. You are
      tired of the battle and broke. Things look grim and almost lost. Do Not
      give up, your children are stake here. This is the third time you have a
      right to a trial. Make it a good one. If you lose this one your children
      are gone and the only thing you have left is an appeal. This is almost
      always lost. Make sure you have done every thing the court has asked you
      to do. Make the attorney put enough on the record to give you good
      appeal issues. Then use them.

      This is not to be taken for legal advice, just as good
      advice/information. You will need an Attorney to get Legal advice.
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